Rodriguez Benched for Game 5 of the A.L.D.S.
When the Yankees posted their Game 5 lineups on Friday afternoon, Eric Chavez was listed as the starting third baseman and Raul Ibanez as the designated hitter, meaning Alex Rodriguez will start the must-win game on the bench.
In 24 career at-bats against Baltimore’s staring pitcher for Game 5, right-hander Jason Hammel, Rodriguez has eight hits and four home runs. But Rodriguez was 0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts against Hammel in Game 1 and he has clearly been lost at the plate during the entire American League division series, batting 2 for 16 with 0 home runs and 0 runs batted in.
Rodriguez is certainly not the only Yankees batter struggling mightily in this division series. Just look at these numbers from some of the team’s other power hitters.
Robinson Cano: 2 for 18, 0 HR
Curtis Granderson: 1 for 16, 0 HR
Nick Swisher: 2 for 15, 0 HR
With friends like these, what starting pitcher would feel good going into a must-win game?
The Yankees have three home runs this series, two from pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez in Game 3 and the other by Russell Martin in Game 1.
The Orioles’ offense has not been any better, batting .197 as a team compared with .216 for the Yankees. This puts even more pressure on the Yankees’ Game 5 starter, C. C. Sabathia, and Hammel, who face off in a rematch of Game 1.
Sabathia excelled in Game 1, falling one out short of a complete game; Hammel went five and two-thirds innings and allowed two runs. The teams were locked into a 2-2 tie until the Yankees exploded for five runs in the ninth inning.
Unfortunately for the Yankees, the ninth inning from Game 1 has been the only inning in this series that the team has scored more than one run. That will probably have to change if they want to host another playoff game this season.
Also of note, Derek Jeter will be back in the field at shortstop despite playing with a bruised foot.
A-Rod hits on gals during Game 1 of ALCS
He’s got balls.
Shameless Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez was playing so poorly against the Detroit Tigers Saturday night that
he was yanked from the lineup — but that didn’t stop him from trying to score.
After being replaced in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series,
the highest-paid Yankee openly flirted with a pair of pretty women two rows behind the dugout — even sending
them a ball bearing a note asking for their phone numbers, a witness told The Post.
“I watched him flirt with two admittedly very cute young women nearby,’’ the witness said.
Instead of rooting on his teammates as they struggled to stay alive during the tense game at Yankee Stadium,
A-Rod, 37, had a ball boy toss the young women a baseball inscribed with a message asking for their numbers.
“Alex was holding a pen and wrote a note on a ball which was thrown at the women by a ball boy,’’ the witness
“The girls, who had already caught two balls, seemed bemused at first and tried to hand the ball to another fan,
but other fans noticed the note on it and yelled at them to read it.
“The note asked them to write their phone numbers on the ball and throw it back,’’ the witness said.
“One of the girls, with darker blond hair, wrote . . . on the ball and threw it back at A-Rod, who gave her a big
“They exchanged a few glances after that,’’ as A-Rod took a powder while a pinch-hitter took his place at the
Raul Ibanez performed under pressure, tying the score in the bottom of the ninth.
In the 12th, team captain Derek Jeter broke his ankle — and A-Rod finally wised up, the witness said.
“The flirtation stopped once Derek Jeter got hurt,” the source said.
The Yanks wound up losing 6-4.
Source: A-Rod keen on Miami
What began as a casual, joking conversation between New York Yankees president Randy Levine and
Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria about the possibility of Alex Rodriguez playing for the Marlins may
develop into serious trade talks this offseason, according to a source with knowledge of the conversation.
According to the source, Levine and Loria discussed the possibility of A-Rod playing in Miami, his hometown,
but characterized it as a joke between old friends.
The conversation between the Yankees and Marlins initially was reported by Keith Olbermann on his MLB.com
"Nerd Blog." Variety also reported the news.
However, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he has had no trade talks regarding Rodriguez with
anyone and described the first report as "false."
"I have had no discussions whatsoever with the (Miami) Marlins," Cashman said. "Certainly would never have
any trade discussions under the circumstances. I certainly have not had any discussions with any GMs other than
the pregame meetings with Dan Duquette with the Orioles, with the umpires and then with Dave Dombrowski
(of the Tigers). But I've had no trade discussions, so false. One hundred percent false."
According to the source, Loria said in his conversation about A-Rod with Levine, "Alex is Mr. Miami; it would be
great if he played here for us."
To which Levine is said to have replied, "You can have him."
A second source with knowledge of Rodriguez's thinking said the likely only place Rodriguez eventually would
accept a trade to is Miami. Rodriguez has five years and $114 million remaining on his contract, not including
milestone home run bonuses.
"I love the Yankees. I love this organization," Rodriguez said. "My focus right now is to help this team come
together and win a game. Do not allow all this negativity and questions and gossip stuff or this crap or that
crap, let's just focus on winning a game and go from there ... What I will tell you is I hope nothing is going on
like that at this point because our only focus, from top to bottom, is to win a baseball game right now."
Levine refused to directly comment on the conversation with Loria or what it would take to trade Rodriguez.
Appearing Sunday on Ian O'Connor's show on ESPN New York 98.7 FM, Levine told O'Connor the following
regarding A-Rod's future as a Yankee:
"That's like one of those questions: Where's the stock market going to be in 2017? Who's going to be president
on Nov. 15?. If I had a crystal ball to predict all of that stuff, I'd be a lot smarter than I am. I'm not going to go
A-Rod hits on gals during Game 1 of ALCS